Alex Eala & French partner score massive doubles upset to win ITF title in France

Congratulations, Alex Eala! (Alex Eala Facebook)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Filipina tennis sensation Alex Eala and her French partner Estelle Cascino pulled off one of their most impressive upset wins of the 2024 playing calendar.

Going up against the no.1 seeded pairing of Maia Lumsden of Great Britain and France’s Jessika Ponchetto, the tandem of Eala and Cascino weathered the storm to sweep them in the grand finals- 7.5, 7.6- of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Croissy-Beauborg tournament in France on March 30, 2024.

After a flawless victory over Kira Pavlova and Marie Weckerle in the tournament semifinals, Eala and Cascino entered the championship round with the much-needed momentum against the top seeds.

From the get-go, Eala banked on her groundstroke consistency to deny the opposition of their plans of an early net attack.

With Eala’s booming forehands touching the baseline at will, Lumsden and Ponchetto were forced to switch gears and adjust mid-game.

The move somehow paid off dividends as they were able to claw their way back with several winners in the rally exchange but Eala and Cascino sent the early blow when they reached match point.

As soon as they took an early 1-0 lead and a confidence booster, Eala and Cascino didn’t look back and turned on the jets for another early lead in the second set.

However, the veteran experience of Lumsden and Ponchetto was in full display to retake the lead, overpowering Eala and Cascino when they risked their signature net game.

Despite the top seeds pouring the offense, Eala used her tremendous baseline defense to hold on and helped them win two game points to force a tiebreaker.

It was in the tiebreaker that Eala scored two huge points to steer them to a win in the Croissy-Beauborg tournament.

This is already Eala’s second doubles major title at the ITF level. The first one came during the W50 Pune in India alongside Latvian partner Darja Semenistaja.

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